|Frequency||Weekly / Monthly|
|Format||Paper and online magazine|
80,000 (Connect! On)
|Publisher|| ASCII (1986–2000)|
|First issue||June 1986 (as Famicom Tsūshin)|
Famitsu, formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Gzbrain, a subsidiary of Kadokawa. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. From October 28, 2011 the company began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.
Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.
The name Famitsū is a portmanteau abbreviation of Famicom Tsūshin; the word "Famicom" itself comes from a portmanteau abbreviation of "Family Computer" (the Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System)—the dominant video game console in Japan during the 1980s.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced, released and marketed by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in the test markets of New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, with a full launch in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics which is now SK Hynix; the Comboy was released in 1989.
A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.
Login ( ログイン ), a computer game magazine, started in 1982 as an extra issue of ASCII , and later it became a periodic magazine. Famicom Tsūshin was a column in Login, focused on the Famicom platform, and ran from March 1985 to December 1986 issue. It received a good reception, so the publisher decided to found the magazine specialized for it.
ASCII (アスキー) was a monthly released microcomputer magazine in Japan, published by ASCII Corporation from 1977. It targeted for business users who used a personal computer in their home and office, but it sometimes introduced computer games and computer musics. It was also known as the Monthly ASCII (月刊アスキー) written along with the title from Vol. 2 No. 4, and distinguish with the Weekly ASCII (週刊アスキー) founded in 1997. The ASCII was rebranded as the Business ASCII (ビジネスアスキー) in 2008, and ceased in 2010. Its news website and the Weekly ASCII are continuing as in 2016.
The first issue of Famitsū was published on June 6, 1986 as Famicom Tsūshin.It sold less than 200,000 copies, despite 700,000 copies printed. The major competitor was Family Computer Magazine launched in July 1985 by Tokuma Shoten. Famitsū's editor found many readers had multiple game consoles, and they thought it would be better if the magazine covered various platforms. Increasing contents and the page count gradually, the magazine was published three times per month instead of semimonthly publication. On July 19, 1991 (issue #136) the magazine was renamed to Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin and issues were published weekly thereafter. Alongside the weekly magazine, a monthly version called Gekkan Famicom Tsūshin was also published.
Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd. is a publisher in Japan, headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. The company was established in 1954 by Yasuyoshi Tokuma in Minato, Tokyo. The company’s product portfolio includes music publishing, video game publishing, movies, anime, magazines, manga and books.
Hirokazu Hamamura, an editor-in-chief (1992-2002), felt the beginning of a new era when he saw a private demonstration of Final Fantasy VII in 1993. He thought the name Famicom Tsūshin should be refurbished. At the start of 1996 (with issue #369) the magazines underwent another name change, truncating their titles to Shūkan Famitsū . The name Famitsū had already been in common use.and Gekkan Famitsū
Hirokazu Hamamura, former Weekly Famitsu chief editor, now is president of Enterbrain. He is also the director of Kadokawa Group Holdings, Kadokawa Group Publishing, Kadokawa Games and Walker Books. His pen name is Hamamura Tsūshin (浜村通信).
Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.
The magazine was published by ASCII from its founding through March 2000 when it was sold to Enterbrain.
Enterbrain (エンターブレイン), formerly Enterbrain, Inc., is a Japanese publisher and brand company of Kadokawa Future Publishing founded on January 30, 1987 as ASCII Film Co., Ltd.. Magazines published by Enterbrain are generally focused on video games and computer entertainment as well as video game and strategy guides. In addition, the company publishes a small selection of anime artbooks. Enterbrain is based in Tokyo, Japan, with a paid-in capital of 410 million yen. Enterbrain's current president is Hirokazu Hamamura.
Famicom Tsūshin initially focused on the Famicom platform, but later it featured multi-platform coverage. Famicom Tsūshin was renamed to Famitsū in 1995. Shūkan Famitsū is a weekly publication concentrating on video game news and reviews, and is published every Thursday with a circulation of 500,000 per issue.Gekkan Famitsū is published monthly.
Famitsū magazine covers alternately feature pop idols or actresses on even-numbered issues and the Famitsū mascot, Necky the Fox in odd-numbered issues. Year-end and special editions all feature Necky dressed as popular contemporary video game characters. Necky is the cartoon creation of artist Susumu Matsushita, and he takes the form of a costumed fox. The costumes worn by Necky reflect current popular video games. Necky's name was chosen according to a reader poll, and it derives from a complex Japanese pun: "Necky" is actually the reverse of the Japanese word for fox, キツネ, and his original connection to Famicom Tsūshin is intended to evoke the bark of the fox, the Japanese onomatopoeia of which is コンコン . Necky makes a cameo appearance in Super Mario Maker .
Famitsū publishes other magazines dedicated to particular consoles. Currently in circulation are:
Famitsū spin-offs that are no longer in circulation include:
Video games are graded in Famitsū via a "Cross Review" in which a panel of four video game reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10 (with ten indicating the best game). The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty-four games awarded with a perfect score as of 2017 [update] , three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having four titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four titles, Metal Gear with three titles, and Final Fantasy with two titles. The most recent game to receive a perfect score is Dragon Quest XI .
As of 2016 [update] , all but two games with perfect scores are from Japanese companies, nine being published/developed by Nintendo, four by Square Enix, three by Sega, three by Konami and one by Capcom. As of 2016 [update] , the only two completely foreign games to achieve a perfect score are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks and Grand Theft Auto V , from Rockstar Games. Other foreign games that have achieved near-perfect scores are L.A. Noire , Red Dead Redemption , Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV – all four of which came from Rockstar Games; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , Call of Duty: Black Ops , and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – all from Activision, although published by Square Enix in Japan; and Gears of War 3 from Epic Games. ( Kingdom Hearts II is a joint effort between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios.)
Famitsu administers the Famitsu awards. Video games receive a number of different awards in categories like Innovation, Biggest Hit, Rookie Award, Highest Quality, etc. One or two "Game of the Year" awards are granted as the top prize. Top prize winners are determined by a combination of critical and fan review scores as well as sales figures.
UK trade magazine MCV and Famitsu have an exclusive partnership which sees news and content from each magazine appear in the other.
Whomp 'Em, the North American version of the Japanese game Saiyūki World 2: Tenjōkai no Majin(西遊記ワールド2 天上界の魔神, lit. "Saiyūki World 2: Evil Spirit of Heaven") (1990), is a platform video game released on the NES in March 1991.
Summer Carnival '92: Recca, commonly referred to as Recca, is a 1992 scrolling shooter video game developed by KID and published by Naxat Soft for the Family Computer.
Famicom Wars is a wargame produced by Nintendo. It was released on August 12, 1988 for the Family Computer in Japan. It was later re-released on Virtual Console. It is the first game in the Wars series.
Hect (ヘクト) or Hector was a Japanese video game developer and publisher. It had a Virtual Boy game in development, entitled Virtual Battle Ball; however, it was eventually canceled.
Metal Max is a role-playing video game series created by Hiroshi Miyaoka and his studio Crea-Tech. The first title was developed by Crea-Tech in collaboration with Data East, and was published by Data East in 1991. Due to the bankruptcy of Data East and trademark problems, some titles were released by Success co. under the title Metal Saga. Since the trademark issue was resolved by Enterbrain, some games in the series has been released under the title Metal Max again.
Karnov's Revenge is a 1994 fighting game developed by Data East, released for the Neo Geo. It's the second game in the Fighter's History series. The game was later ported to the Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD and Sega Saturn home consoles.
Front Line is a military-themed run & gun shooter game released by Taito for arcades in 1982. It was one of the first video games to feature a ground combat theme and grenades, a precursor to many similarly-themed games of the mid to late 1980s. The original arcade version of Front Line is controlled with a joystick, a single button, and a rotary dial that can be pushed in like a button. The single button is used to throw grenades and to enter and exit tanks, while the rotary dial controls and fires the player's gun.
Akira (アキラ) is a 1988 adventure game 1988 by TOSE for the Famicom console exclusively in Japan. It is based on Akira, the 1988 animated film version of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga, Akira.
Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes is a role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom. It is the sixth game in the Dragon Slayer line of games, and the first in The Legend of Heroes series.
Rendering Ranger: R2 is a 1995 side scrolling action video game developed by Rainbow Arts and published by Virgin Interactive for the Super Famicom. It was released only in Japan, and has gone on to be one of the rarest Super Famicom titles in existence.
Kendo Rage, known in Japan as Makeruna! Makendō, is an action video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom by Datam Polystar. Seta U.S.A. published the English version.
Susumu Matsushita is a Japanese manga artist known for his unique American comic–influenced design. His most famous works are the designing of the mascot Neppe of Orix Buffaloes, Motor Toon Grand Prix, Hudson's Adventure Island series, Monkey Magic and the Maximo: Ghosts to Glory concept arts.
After Burst (アフターバースト) is a Japan-exclusive action video game released for the Game Boy in 1990.
Tetris 2 is a video game published in 1993 and 1994 by Nintendo for the Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Japanese video game magazine Famitsū assigns scores to video games by having four reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10. The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty two games awarded with a perfect score as of 2016, three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having two titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four, Metal Gear with three, followed by Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy with two.
Cocoron is a 1991 video game developed by K2 and published by Takeru for the Famicom. A version for the PC Engine was announced, but was not released.
Hoshi wo Miru Hito is a 1987 Japanese video game for the Famicom home console. Developed by Another and published by HOT B, it is based on the 1984 video game Psychic City. The game is a science fiction role playing video game where players use psychic powers to defeat enemies.
Electric Brain was a British video game magazine which ran from 1989 to 1993. The name Electric Brain comes from the literal translation of the Chinese word for computer.